Mickey Rooney Jr., an original Mouseketeer, musician and actor who was the first child of Mickey Rooney, has died. He was 77.
Rooney Jr. died Saturday at his home in Glendale, Arizona, according to a Facebook post from friend and actor Paul Petersen. The two were both original Mouseketeers at Disney.
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“Mickey Junior was tall and talented. He could sing, dance and act…and get in trouble,” Petersen wrote. He continued: “Mickey Junior was the personification of ‘damaged goods.’ He gave all he could.”
Rooney Jr. played in bands with Willie Nelson as well as appearing alongside him in “Honeysuckle Rose” and “Songwriter.” He helped score the soundtrack to John Brahm’s “Hot Rods to Hell,” which he also had a small role in. In 1975, he had a role in the NBC movie “Beyond the Bermuda Triangle.”
Born Joseph Yule III in Birmingham, Ala., he and brother Tim Rooney were hired as backup castmembers on ABC’s “The Mickey Mouse Club” in 1955. Together, they worked on a handful of episodes before both brothers were fired.
Rooney Jr. played guitar, keyboard, bass, drums and harmonica. In the 1960s, he recorded songs including “The Wandering Wind,” “The Choice Is Yours” and “It Certainly Ain’t a Nice Thing.” He had also appeared on the ABC music show “Shindig!” and played in a band with brothers Tim and Teddy.
“I was born on the same day as Mickey’s father and ‘The Mic’ gave me, unsolicited mind you, the most useful advice I ever got,” Petersen wrote. “It is one of my greatest sorrows that he didn’t do the same for his son. Mickey Rooney Junior. Rest In Peace at last. We will see to your wishes.”
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